Life Among the ‘Garbage Faeries’

In our hyper consumption driven economy, we don’t often give much of a thought to what we toss in the trash. Municipalities take care of dealing with all the headaches from our trash so we don’t have to. That’s part of our utility bill or city service fee. I can’t help thinking about who actually deals with it after I do. Our local trash service picks up our curbside cans – green waste, recycled and land fill.


When visiting New York, I couldn’t help noticing how much trash is produced and how amazing it was that more of it wasn’t visible. Somebody’s doing a Sisyphean job. In fact, a small army of dedicated Garbage Faeries do the job. Robin Nagle wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal adopted from her book: Picking Up: On the Street and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City.

Robin Nagle: What I discovered in New York City trash

Marketers Should Take Women Seriously As Consumers

As if we needed another reason to respect women and the value they represent.

Women are by far the dominant purchasers of nutritional supplements and natural products in addition to other household spending categories.

Women are the driving force behind the restoration economy that is arising out of the domains of eating, food, nutrition and health. The values women express across these market categories are unlimited in their variety.

The power to impact or transform these markets comes from the leverage  well educated, savvy, loyal, repeat consumers bring to a market.

Savvy marketers understand that their return on investment occurs when they deliver a rewarding experience for women.

A rewarding experience involves relevance, relationships, and revenue.

The study reports that five years ago the most hated category by women included health care.

Five years later it’s physicians and hospitals. That tells us something about how much more discerning women consumers are becoming It tells us they are well versed enough to know what’s missing for them in a rewarding experience, they can point to physicians and hospitals rather than the more genera,l health care category.

This level of education and engagement is showing up everywhere women have a say about what they’re willing to  purchase.

That’s good news for any marketer playing the “Is It Healthy?” Game.

See Related:A Woman's Heart Is Not Like A Man's

Nutrition News Women’s Health Series

Marketers Should Take Women Seriously As Consumers

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Women are bringing in a bigger and bigger slice of the household income pie. Marketing firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says the gap between what men and women earn is closing by 1% per year, with 60% of women in the U.S. active in the work force.

Women are forecast to add $6 trillion in additional earned income

over the next five years.

The firm, however, finds that marketers aren’t taking that growing buying power too seriously. It has come out with its first global examination since 2009 of women as consumers. “Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest-Growing Market” is the study’s baroque title, but women are anything but, per the study’s data. The firm notes that women are forecast to add $6 trillion in additional earned income over the next five years.

But consumer-facing companies just aren’t acting on the obvious: women spend are not only becoming better educated than men, but are also spending like it. So marketers might want to add a dash of this data to their marketing mix: over the next five years, working women will drive an increase in earned income globally from $12.5 trillion to $18.5 trillion. The global average of female earned income is expected to rise by about $8,000 during this period, per the study.

Michael J. Silverstein, a BCG senior partner, says women’s increasing economic influence is driven by several trends: they are the majority of undergraduates worldwide (57% of students in college or higher education in the U.S. are women); younger women are entering the workforce “with no limits on their ambition,” said Silverstein; they are increasingly well off and very profitable customers; they are willing to pay more across many categories for products and services; as they become increasingly time constrained, they will trade money for time savings.

The 10 categories women are most dissatisfied with are, starting with the worst, home remodeling, work clothes, home cleaning, physicians, lingerie, hospitals, cars, insurance, formal attire, and cosmetics. Five years ago at the bottom of the barrel were financial services, health care, and consumer durables (including cars.) Women cite poor product design for women; clumsy sales and marketing; inability to address need for time-saving solutions; inability to provide meaningful hook and differentiation and failure to develop community.

The study also notes that women — like men — are stuck in a time management bog with demands like household and finances dragging them away from time for themselves. Here’s a shocker (not): worldwide, 40% of men rarely or never help their wives with home chores. It’s a shocker because the number is probably closer to 98%. Brazil tops out at 63%. The United States and United Kingdom both are at the lower end of the spectrum, with 41%.

Silverstein argues that companies that have figured out what women want have grown sales, loyalty, and category dominance. Baby brand Gerber, he notes, has done well by expanding its product line based on research into what mothers want for their young children; Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer makes floor work faster and less labor intensive; Victoria’s Secret continually changes its undergarment line. The Limited also gets a kudos in the study.

“Women are still burdened by having to manage the family finances, with not enough money, not enough time, and too much stress. Winning companies will address their dissatisfactions with bull’s-eye responses and gain the lead in both current female-controlled spending and incremental spending,” he says.

“Young Mother with Baby and Tablet” photo from Shutterstock.

Cynicism, Irony and Sarcasm In Service Of Social Justice

Durable, strong and adaptable. This is how a 9 year old child is described who is available for purchase on a home shopping network. For $65 you can own a child that can work up to 18 hours a day for you. Luckily, this is just a spoof conceptualised by ad agency KBS+P for World Vision Canada. The parody of a home shopping network shows the perfectly coiffed hosts talk about the ever versatile, hard working and adaptable 9 year old child named Keweshi who can work all day for you.

World Vision are fighting child slavery by updating what a slavery auction must have looked like, fitting it into our TV home-shopping of modern times. Slavery might not be legal these days, but the daunting statistic that every year 1.2 million children are sold into slavery is the unfortunate reality behind the campaign.

– See more at: http://www.simplyzesty.com/Blog/Article/June-2013/9-Year-Old-Child-Available-For-Purchase-In-World-Vision-s-Latest-Campaign?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Simplyviral+%28Simply+Viral+%29#sthash.GohZ2kQ5.dpuf

 

Durable, strong and adaptable. This is how a 9 year old child is described who is available for purchase on a home shopping network. For $65 you can own a child that can work up to 18 hours a day for you. Luckily, this is just a spoof conceptualised by ad agency KBS+P for World Vision Canada. The parody of a home shopping network shows the perfectly coiffed hosts talk about the ever versatile, hard working and adaptable 9 year old child named Keweshi who can work all day for you.

World Vision are fighting child slavery by updating what a slavery auction must have looked like, fitting it into our TV home-shopping of modern times. Slavery might not be legal these days, but the daunting statistic that every year 1.2 million children are sold into slavery is the unfortunate reality behind the campaign.

– See more at: http://www.simplyzesty.com/Blog/Article/June-2013/9-Year-Old-Child-Available-For-Purchase-In-World-Vision-s-Latest-Campaign?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Simplyviral+%28Simply+Viral+%29#sthash.GohZ2kQ5.dpuf

Artist Outshines An Army Of Government Planners

These magnificent creatures make up part of one of the most innovative emergency management programs in the country — seriously, the CDC and FEMA even said so — by providing memorable locations where New Orleans residents know they can show up and find free rides in the event of an evacuation.
Thanks to

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Carolyn Silveira More from Carolyn »

M Click image to Zoom In

Or maybe it’s this guy.


There’s a lot of them!

And Evacuteers, who are trained each season, will meet you there. 

And take you out of your neighborhood to where the official folks are waiting …

… and can help you get the heck outta Dodge. 

Sure beats the old system! Would you remember your evacuation spot if it were marked like the picture on the left?

ORIGINAL: EvacuSpots sculptures by artist Douglas Kornfeld. Photos by James Shaw and Evacuteer.org. Found thanks to Anya Kamenetz‘s article on Fast Company.

Mapping The Protests In Turkey

by Allison McCartney3 weeks ago Filed Under: Data

In Istanbul, a small citizen sit-in quickly escalated into a nation-wide movement of anti-government demonstrations that has so far claimed the lives of two people and mobilized an estimated 250,000.

While video can offer a live glimpse of the action and social media can reveal the thoughts of the crowd, only a map can illustrate the massive geographical scope of the movement.

To date, about 90 protests have been reported in 67 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, many in territories hundreds of miles from Istanbul and Gezi Park.

Using a compilation of the latest news reports, we plotted the location of the largest protests, how many people participated and on what day the protests started.

#OccupyGezi: Turkish Protests in 2013

Investing the Downward Dog Way? Adviser Suggests Deep Breaths

We’ve come a long way since the first wave of yogi’s in the 60’s. If you’re still feeling lost and can’t see the forest from the trees when it comes to investing, maybe the yogic approach is just what’s needed.

When the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new record this past March, Brent Kessel awoke at 3:30 a.m.

But the financial adviser, who co-founded a firm that manages more than $800 million, wasn’t up early because he was giddy about the market. He was hopping on a motor scooter in Mysore, India, to stand on one leg with the other leg behind his head and chant in Sanskrit at the school where a branch of modern yoga has its origins.

Mr. Kessel, who devoted himself to responding to emails from his clients and colleagues later that day, shrugs off the bull market.

“Everything is impermanent, especially the market’s level,” says Mr. Kessel, whose firm is Abacus Wealth Partners in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Abacus Wealth Partners

Brent Kessel on a trip to India.

Spencer Sherman, Abacus’s other founder, teaches his clients a breathing technique called “the Money Breath,” to get through tough financial situations: clients typically inhale for three counts, hold the breath for one count, and exhale for six counts.

Non-clients can buy “the Money and Spirit Workshop” home study course from the duo, available for $66.97 on a website that sells New Age products.

Some clients come to the firm through its advertisements in Yoga Journal, which in its April 2001 issue featured a bare-chested Mr. Kessel on the cover balancing on his hands with his legs tucked behind his arms in a perfectly executed “crow” pose.

“I think the very common reaction, even 15 years ago, would have been, ‘These guys are California quack jobs,'” says Mr. Kessel. “But if you actually came in and were a client, you’d find that we’re much more disciplined than a lot of the firms out there.”

He is one of a breed of financial advisers who are taking yoga and meditation out of the ashram and putting them into Excel spreadsheets. The values and teachings of these Eastern-inspired traditions, proponents say, impart a special kind of financial wisdom that, among other benefits, allows them to stay calm in crises and make holistic financial plans for clients.

Enlarge Image

Brent Kessel

George Kinder, a certified financial planner and Buddhist teacher who spends his time in Maui, Hawaii, London and Littleton, Mass., is widely considered the guru of this financial “mindfulness” movement, which has guided financial advisers seeking to add a spiritual element to their practices.

Mr. Kinder’s 1999 book, “The Seven Stages of Money Maturity,” applies ancient Buddhist principles known as the Six Perfections, which include patience and generosity, to contemporary money management, among other things. Mr. Kinder later developed “financial life planner” training, which teaches advisers to focus on the client’s life goals and use empathic listening skills when working with them.

The tradition is older than it might appear. The integration of yoga and money is seen in Eastern history, says Mark Singleton, who wrote his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Cambridge on the history of modern yoga.

While many ancient yogis renounced material possessions, others used yoga to gain money and influence. “They were the power brokers of medieval India because of these powers you can accumulate by doing yoga,” says Mr. Singleton.

The number of planners who have gone through at least one of Mr. Kinder’s programs, which always include a group meditation, has more than doubled in the past five years to more than 2,000, he says. So far, 307 have obtained the top “Registered Life Planner” designation, up from about 100 five years ago.

“People leave our training exhilarated,” says Mr. Kinder. “That’s very similar to a very deep yoga or meditative retreat. You go so deep inside yourself you’re sparkling.”

Messrs. Kessel and Sherman use a Kinder-influenced financial-planning approach at Abacus, and say they buy stocks and bonds based on research instead of “emotions and hot tips.” They typically prefer passive index funds to actively managed ones, and unlike panicked investors who fled equities during the financial crisis, they say they bought stocks the day the market hit its bottom in 2009, a move the firm attributes to disciplined rebalancing.

Jeff Bogart, like Messrs. Kessel and Sherman a Kinder disciple, launched Yogic Investing, a yoga-inspired branch of his Cleveland-area financial-advisory firm last year. “George Kinder’s stuff is groundbreaking and fascinating. Sometimes it makes me aware if people are stuck in the root chakra with their money issues,” says Mr. Bogart. The root chakra, an energy point located at the base of the spine, is associated with primitive survival needs, he says.

Those interested fill out a brief questionnaire online to “find out if you are a yogic investor!” He presented a workshop on yoga and money at the Finger Lakes Yoga Festival in New York state last summer.

Some financial advisers revel in yoga’s revelations.

While standing on one leg and attempting to lift his other leg perpendicular to the ground, Rick Salmeron, a certified financial planner who is president of Salmeron Financial in Dallas and who practices Bikram yoga, a type of yoga traditionally practiced in 105-degree heat, says, “I’m thinking of my clients who can’t help but be attracted to Apple at $600 a share or oil at $140 a barrel.”

Mr. Salmeron recently considered holding a Bikram class for his clients, though only a fraction of them are regular yoga practitioners. “Investing is very emotional. Yoga keeps it all balanced,” he says.

He recommends Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana, a pose in which he stands with legs spread wide and grabs his feet in an effort to pull his head to the floor. “It gives my brain a tourniquet effect. It clears out a lot of the dead brain cells,” Mr. Salmeron says.

Other advisers try to be discreet about the New Age influence on their work. Nicholas Lee of Worcester, England, who trained with Mr. Kinder, meditates and faithfully uses a notepad with “Breathe in” printed on top of the pages and “Breathe out” at the bottom.

Still, he says, “you can’t put a sign outside your office that says, ‘Hello, I’m a financial life planner. I do yoga and meditation.’ I’m always a little bit cautious talking about it. You can very quickly appear flaky.”

A version of this article appeared June 10, 2013, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Investing the Downward Dog Way? Adviser Suggests Deep Breaths.